More Senate chairs: Thrasher at Rules, Alexander at Budget, Gaetz at redistricting
Senate President Mike Haridopolos has announced three more committee appointments: Sen. John Thrasher as chairman of the Rules Committee, Sen. J.D. Alexander as head of the Budget committee and Sen. Don Gaetz as chairman of the reapportionment committee.
Thrasher, elected to the Senate in a 2009 special election after serving a decade ago as House Speaker, takes over from outgoing Sen. Alex Villalobos, a moderate Republican from Miami. The Republican from St. Augustine will rule on myriad parliamentary decisions on the Senate floor and will also set the calendar.
Alexander was previously chairman of the old Ways and Means committee and will continue under the reformed Budget committee, where he will help craft Florida's $70 billion spending plan.
Haridopolos said Gaetz probably has "he most challenging committee chairmanship of all." He will lead the Senate's effort at redrawing legislative and congressional district maps -- a task made more difficult after the so-called "Fair Districts" amendments passed with the aim of curbling legislative power in drawing the maps.